It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How to Overcome Fear of Rejection and Achieve Success

Learning how to overcome fear of rejection is a critical part of reaching your goals pursuing your dreams.

Nobody enjoys asking for something and being told “no.” But rejection is an inevitable part of life for all of us, and is usually a good thing, even if we can’t see it at the time.

I’d like to give you some tips on how to overcome fear of rejection and achieve the success you deserve.

Fear of Rejection is Natural

For some, rejection may come if the form of not being picked for the team or don’t get the part in the play. Or when you don’t get the job or promotion you wanted, or your manuscript is turned down by a publisher, or you get laid off or fired.

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The Jaguar Leaps Into Action!

An inherently fascinating and deeply personal story that is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, Touching the Jaguar: Transforming Fear into Action to Change Your Life and the World is an extraordinary contribution to our on-going national dialogue and an especially recommended addition to community and academic library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, environmentalists, social/political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers.
– Midwest Book Review

June 16, 2020 was the official publication day of Touching the Jaguar. Therefore, it seemed fitting to open this newsletter with that quote from a publication that is very influential among libraries, colleges, academics, and in other literary circles. I know I am boasting a bit – and yet I hope it is appropriate since today is a day to celebrate a book that includes the ideas and lives of many people and organizations. Although it is partly my story, it is far bigger than that. 

During this time of a virus pandemic, climatic cataclysms, racial tensions, species extinctions, terrorism, political upheavals, and countless other crises we ask ourselves: 

What can we do? What can I – each one of us – do?

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Racism and White Privilege: The Hard Look

It’s hard to look unflinchingly at the full extent of racism in the U.S.; it’s ugly, brutal, inhuman. The knee on the neck that chokes the breath out of a living person, the lynching rope that has choked the life out of generations of African Americans. White people have looked away, not wanting to see that cold-blooded brutality or the systemic racism built into American institutions created by white men and slave-owners. Black people don’t have that choice, that privilege; they face racist reality full-force every second of their lives. Parents have to instruct their children how to behave when they encounter a police officer (“hands up”). The adults carry fear in their hearts just living an ordinary life because they know they could be killed no matter what they do or don’t do (George Floyd, Breonna Taylor). Black lives have never mattered in the history of this country; the inability or refusal to see that is white privilege. This is the harsh reality of racism in America.

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Why Did This Happen?

Why did this happen? Why did that happen?

Why is it still happening?

Why do I feel this way?

Why does anyone do anything?


I have an answer to the question, WHY?

Why?

Because I chose an answer for myself.

A foundation to my answer is,

EVERY INTENTION IS FOR GOOD

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Stop Making Yourself Powerless

Once upon a time, there was an eco-tour guide in Africa who was considered the safest guide in all of Africa because virtually no one got hurt on his tours. You would think that people would flock to this eco-tour guide because of his safety record, but he had a certain reputation. It wasn't just that he was the safest, but he was also the sternest. People didn't want to go on a tour with a stern guide. They wanted to go on a tour with somebody that was fun!
 

Just prior to one trip, the eco-tour guide sits his guests down and says, "Before you start your trek, I have a few simple rules." With that, his friendly demeanor became somewhat stern. In not such a gentle voice he said, "Rule #1: When climbing slippery hills, you have the power to not grab onto a snake because you've mistaken it for a rope. Rule #2: In the heat of the day,you have the power to not take a cooling swim in the part of the river where the signs say Warning: Man-eating Crocs. Rule #3: When approaching the campsite after a long day's walk, you have the power to not walk through the quicksand swamps in order to take a shortcut back to your tent."

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You Are Enough – Awareness

“When you start to be present for yourself and feel what there is to feel to completion, you begin to embody higher frequencies, and you become lighter, freer, and more at peace.”

For too long, you have been frenetically racing around to mend a self that you believed was broken. You’ve read countless self-­help books, talked through your issues numerous times, and completed a slew of workshops. But most of this was focused on changing your thoughts or building up an impressive repertoire of nice spiritual concepts. The process we are discussing is an experience of energy changes within you. It is less about knowledge and more about living in connection with your authentic self in each moment.

At first, it can be hard to just be with yourself, as you are awash in internal discomfort. You are so trained to get somewhere, to have or create a point for everything. You are a professional human “doing,” programmed for high performance, low maintenance, and fast delivery.

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Share The Calm, Dampen The Panic

In order to combat the Fear Virus and negativity that can be so prevalent, I’ve been making it a practice to think about positive aspects of our current situation. Not to downplay the very real struggles that people are having, but in order to put myself in a space where I can bring my best to those around me. 

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how we’re now using tools like technology in new ways. I just read this article in Wired magazine about this very thing. The global challenges we’re all facing have forced us out of “life as ordinary” and made us find new ways of being, including new ways of communing. 

And that’s exactly what the founders of the Internet had envisioned: The idealism that we could use this extraordinary tool for positive social connection, for support, for enhancing each other’s lives. Isn’t that so much better than just using it to have political flame wars on Twitter? (Don’t get me started on Twitter…!) More and more of us are now using these tools to build something positive, something helpful, something uplifting. 

This time has also helped me personally evaluate the role I want technology to play in my life. I can’t just say, “I’m not going to go online.” It’s an essential part of our lives, especially right now. While we can’t spend all day online — that’s just not healthy! — we can be very intentional about what we choose to allow into our environment. For instance, I have no tolerance now for negativity. None. My goal is to create a collective community where everyone feels safe and supported, and that is positive and meaningful. 

That doesn’t mean we don’t make space for people who are hurting and are scared. You are so welcome here. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug. I want you to know that you are not alone. 

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The Miracle Of The Coronavirus – Part 2

The longer we are isolated the more we want to be together. But we do not gather because we love the people we are isolating ourselves from. That is why we are isolating. So the coronavirus is showing us new ways to express our love, creative ways, ingenious ways, joyful ways that expand the bounds of cocreativity and redefine togetherness away from the five-sensory understanding as physical proximity to the multisensory experience that is far beyond that.

The coronavirus is showing us how shallow were so many of our relationships that we thought were deep. Before the coronavirus reshaped our lives, we exchanged countless hugs, blew countless air kisses, and smiled countless smiles without inner warmth. Now, in our isolation, we are beginning to see that togetherness is more than these things. When I was addicted to sex I thought it was the ultimate experience of togetherness until I realized that the women I was attracted to and who were attracted to me did not care about me any more than I cared about them, and I did not care about them. They were all replaceable to me, and I was replaceable to all of them.

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Staying In The Now

There’s a misconception that focusing on the positive means we’re in denial about the struggles we’re facing. That’s not true. We’re all a little bit meshugenah, screwed up, right now. And COVID-19, it’s a serious topic. We want to protect ourselves and protect each other — but staying home can be terrifying for some of us as well. We can’t go to work. We feel disconnected. There’s an increase in many issues related to mental health, and we need to acknowledge all that. This is a heartbreaking time for a lot of people in a lot of ways. 

But even when we’re sitting in the middle of it, there’s still a choice — a choice to feel the fear, and then decide to do something positive. One thing I’m concentrating on these days is creating opportunities for us to come together and be together in community. Yes, it’s online and it may not be a hug in person from your BFF, but it still can be high vibe. We can still use the internet to create something magical. 

These two things — the fear and the high vibe — can co-exist.

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Use Your Pain to Change

Most everything that we have to say about life and our relationships with others -- and how we talk about the part of us that wants to smooth things over, keep them from being disturbed -- is a form of saying something nice about what is killing us.

Here’s the bottom line: We just don't want to go through the pain of doing what's right when it's right to do it. That’s the whole shebang.
 

It isn't you I'm afraid of, it's my own pain. It isn't the condition I don't want to get in and mess with. I don't want to get in mess with the parts of me that are going to beat me over the head with threats and all other forms of conditioned reactions.

Everything about your work is bringing you to a point where you understand the need to bear yourself and to do so despite being unable to do it. Then you are upon a cross. Then you go through what is required of you to have your own life.

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Become A Wabi Sabi Spiritual Warrior

One of my most effective “surviving and thriving” tools is the practice of Wabi Sabi. Known predominantly as an ancient Japanese aesthetic that honors all things old, worn, imperfect and impermanent, Wabi Sabi seeks to find the beauty and perfection in imperfection.

Between Covid-19 and the crashing economy coupled with epic levels of uncertainty and instability, it’s easy to notice everything that is wrong in the world.

I believe it is the job of the spiritual warrior to look for what’s right, to see the light, in spite of all of the painful and dark circumstances.

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Leave the "Victim Level" of Life Behind You

When faced with any pain or grief -- past, present, or promised -- the first thing our lower nature, the "me mind," usually asks is: "What's to be done? Who can I speak to about it? What's the best way for me to handle it? Is there any way out?" And at the heart of these complaints, whether detected or not, is the me mind's favorite question: "Why does everything happen to me?"
 

But at the root of each of these fearful questions which seem to seek a way out of the sorrow lies a secret assumption, one that keeps us defeated and going around in sad circles. And the deception in this assumption of ours is so habitual that if it weren't for the existence of a higher order of self, with its powers of higher perception, this subtle betrayal would be complete. What is this unconscious assumption that almost none can see?
 

The deception begins with the assumption that whatever your current pain may be, it must be real. And, more importantly, hidden in this same unsuspected assumption, is the wrong reasoning that since that ache is lodged in your heart -- it must follow that that pain belongs to you.
 

Even if you doubt the existence of a higher, happier life level, the following is beyond all doubt: living from a mind that automatically assumes suffering is real, gives you no choice other than to remain a perpetual victim. This defeated inner condition is the same as being sentenced to a life of perpetual sadness and resentment. Our lives aren't meant to be spent in this wasteful way. Following is a new and much higher way to look at, and solve, this very old problem.
 

The next time any sadness, or worry of any kind, calls for you, slow the whole of yourself down and work to quietly observe yourself.

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How to Settle the Mind During a Crisis

At first only a few voices spoke of positive change after the COVID crisis ends, or at least becomes livable once again. Now one hears a chorus calling for change, much of it from younger people. The main message is about global cooperation and preparing better for the next pandemic. But I think people are pondering personal change, too. In the midst of widespread trepidation, what are the new goals that each of us might start pursuing right now?

 

The first goal should be a settled mind. Fear is persuasive and panic easily goes viral. At the best of times most people turn their backs on worrisome problems rather than dealing with them directly. But unless you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you can settle your mind and go beyond fear. The first steps to gaining mastery over fear are open to everyone, as follows.

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Flowing Down a Mountain

My personal and most memorable experience of accessing a state of FLOW was entirely unplanned. It occurred while snow skiing, finding a single focus, through repetitive, harmonious movement, carving left to right, left to right, like a snake down a slope. No resistance. Moving in fear, to move past it. (Fear is after all just our ego (false-self) trying to protect us).

It was Valentine’s Day 2002, I was on a ski trip in the Alps with a boyfriend, but we were in no way having the romantic experience that information might conjure up. 

We were staying in the same ski resort in Austria I’d honeymooned at in my early twenties (it was disastrous as honeymoons go and a catalyst for our divorce just 6 months later). But it was here, where I had fallen in love with skiing.

Just a few weeks before this trip, I had chosen to abort a pregnancy. While making this choice very consciously, I was still recovering both physically and emotionally. I was not in love. Our relationship was already over. I still harboured unreconciled feelings for someone else back in South Africa. And on this day, the 14th of February — being the birthday of my childhood sweetheart and soul mate who had died in a car accident at the age of 23, while drinking and driving — to say that I was a walking, breathing emotional volcano, showing tangible signs of erupting, would not be an over dramatisation. The seismic activity in my system was real.

 

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Love In or Lock Down

Every action has an intention. Even not acting and not speaking are actions, and each has an intention. Your intention is the most important thing, not what you do. Your intention is why you do what you do. For example, imagine that you are hiking with a friend, and she suddenly pushes you violently off the trail. If she pushes you because she sees a rattlesnake, and she intends to keep you safe, her push comes from love. She cares about you. If she pushes you because she intends to keep herself safe, her push comes from fear. She cares about herself.

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Reclaiming Your Power When You Feel Like Life’s Out of Control

Are you feeling frayed around the edges, like you’re not sure how much longer you can hold it all together? 

If so, you’re not alone!

A lot of us are starting to feel like we’re nearing the end of our rope. I mean, this has been going on for a long time now! The daily anxiety, the death counts, the news — it just seems to go on and on. 

Even those of us who started out really strong (or maybe just in denial!), and we thought, “This will be over soon…” Well, “soon” has come and gone and here we still are! Depending where you are in the world, you may not even have passed the peak yet, and you may be wondering how much more you can take.

The news wants to feed the Fear Virus and paint a picture of doom and gloom, and we have to counter it with signs of hope. Yes, there is devastation around us — I don’t want to ignore or downplay that. But I also want to remind you that there is a pattern here. And as hard as it is to believe, this too shall pass. 

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Choosing Trust Over Fear

We’re living in unprecedented times. Every day brings new challenges and new STUFF… it truly is an extraordinary time in human history. It’s easy to feel like we’re lost. We don’t know what the heck to do with what’s happening all around us because we’ve never been through this before!

Especially if we or someone close to us is ill (or we think they might be…), it can be hard to pull our focus from the negative. 

Just a few weeks ago, I got really sick. I had just come back from Chile, and I had all the symptoms… but no one was really talking about Coronavirus at that point. I had all of it — the fever, the bronchial stuff. And because I have asthma, I was especially concerned. 

There was a moment there where I literally thought I was going to die. I lost my eyesight and actually fell down in the bathroom. It was scary. I couldn’t do anything, just lie in bed. I had no voice, no energy. 

It could have been easy to sink into that, and then compound it with guilt over having to cancel events (and I NEVER cancel events!). 

But I remember saying to myself, “I can either bemoan what’s going on for me and get scared, or I can sit in gratitude, yes, even for this.” So in the worst of my illness, I kept saying, “Okay, Spirit, if it’s my turn, just… okay.” 

And three times a day for half an hour, I’d just sit there and listen to uplifting music like Deva Premal, Enya, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Nicks. I would put my hand on my heart and stay super grateful and get really chill. And it helped. 

Listen, I’m not saying that Enya can cure COVID (but who really knows, right?!)

What I am saying is that we can find comfort, even when we’re living in uncertainty. 

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Emotional Intelligence: Escaping the Matrix of Fear

For many young people, the COVID virus outbreak will bring their first experience of fear and anxiety as a pervasive mood. As a society we are afraid of fear, and most of the time we can turn our backs on it. But this kind of denial is unworkable in a crisis. As bad news mounts daily and society becomes ever more anxious, countless people become enmeshed in the matrix of fear without knowing how to escape.

Social forces can drive you to participate in the matrix of fear, but society cannot get you out of it. Escape is something each person must confront on their own. I believe that freeing yourself from fear and anxiety is possible. More than that, you can learn how to be free of fear long after the COVID crisis has passed.

The key is to cultivate emotional intelligence. The term had a burst of attention some years ago, but the value of emotional intelligence never changes, and when you focus on it, you will achieve something worthwhile for life.  Here are six principles to guide you through the process.

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How To Deal With Fear

We are going through some intense times right now in the world.

Many of us are worried about our safety and how we take care of ourselves and those we love.

I believe that we will get through this together, and we can get through these times stronger.

In dealing with COVID-19, it is important to be smart, discerning and intentional in doing our part to ensure we take care of ourselves and those around us, our loved ones, our elderly and our children.

It is important that we focus on what we can control, not on what we cannot. This will only create more fear and panic. We can take responsibility for building up our immune system with rest, sleep, hydration, supplements (i.e: Vitamin C, echinacea, ginger, turmeric, oregano oil, etc.).

What you focus on expands.

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Coronavirus – Opportunity Or Obstacle?

Corona usually refers to an aura (visible appearance) of plasma (ionized gas) around the sun. The coronavirus that is infecting humans for the first time (which is why we have no immunity) is covid-19. It is a type of coronavirus, just as “rose” is a type of flower. Yet covid-19 is a bloodless, lifeless term with no emotional relevance to human experience. That is why, in my opinion, we continue to call the virus that has infected us the coronavirus. We sense that it is intimately related to us humans.

As we become multisensory – able to perceive beyond the limitations of the five senses – we begin to see that everything around us is symbolic. The world is no longer random and meaningless. It is filled with meaning, and we can learn about ourselves from it. What can we learn about ourselves from the coronavirus?

The corona of the sun extends millions of miles into space and is hugely hotter than the visible surface of the sun. It is not detectable without instruments, except during a solar eclipse, but it is real and its effects upon the Earth are real. Is there an invisible part of us that extends far beyond what our five senses can detect and whose effects upon us are large and real? Yes. There are many, and we call one of them our collective consciousness.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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